Handcrafted leather products have always been a part of our history. Leatherwork is truly an art in itself.

For Monpiel, the artisanal work of our expert leatherworkers reflects the brand's passion for well-made things, attention to detail, and a commitment to high quality. We create optimized pieces for our discerning customers, with original designs resulting in a unique product. We take pride in all of our handmade products. Our handcrafted leather wallets are our best sellers, along with our handmade leather bags, belts, and other leather accessories crafted with care.

Handmade leather coin purses, for example, a large circle of soft leather with holes around its edge and a leather strip threaded through the holes, were widely used from Roman times (and possibly earlier) through the Middle Ages for carrying coins. These handcrafted leather wallets with laces were securely fastened to a belt worn around the waist, and we find numerous depictions of this in many carvings and paintings. Traders and wealthy men of the time were the ones who typically used these handmade bags.

All these personal items would have been crafted by saddle makers, as the profession of a leatherworker (maroquinero) as we know it today did not yet exist. This is quite understandable since personal items were few and did not offer an opportunity for anyone to make a living in that way. Handcrafted leather products as a commercial opportunity didn't start to evolve until we began to travel. Yes, people have always moved, armies marched, tribes migrated, but regular travel wasn't common. In early and late medieval times, most people lived their entire lives in their own village, and it would have been an event to visit the nearest town.

When people were forced to travel, it was typically for relocation, and they did so in wagons where they carried all their belongings. The first of the two branches of leatherworking developed in the major maritime cities when people began traveling abroad and settling in new colonies like America, Canada, and much later, Australia. Cabinet makers in these large ports along the coast of England started making 'trunk suitcases,' ranging from simple trunk-style suitcases to more sophisticated and larger trunks where one could hang their clothes. An entire emerging industry dedicated to the production of trunks and wardrobes shifted from making furniture to exclusively producing these "mobile closets" to meet the demand. However, this solution for travelers was heavy and impractical.

The trunks were made of wood using construction methods similar to those of furniture, and the edges and corners were joined with metal strips. They were heavy and had handles at each end because two people were needed to carry them. There are few records related to this part of history, but we can trace this through the terminology used by cabinet makers.

To find the true beginning of leather goods as we know them today, we must go back to around the 17th century when wealthy merchants and their families began traveling between cities. In addition to maritime transport and canals, horses were the most common means of transportation. When people started traveling more freely and quickly than before, they needed to carry a change of clothes as well as other belongings. Initially, wooden chests with lines similar to those used on ships were adopted, but they were smaller and square to be attached to the roof of a wagon. However, they proved to be less durable because, unlike their ship counterparts, they had to be unloaded at each overnight stop.

At some point, an entrepreneur tackled this problem by making a leather case with rigid sides and additional locks. This turned out to be lighter and much more durable than wooden boxes, as it was flexible. These hinged cases persisted until the advent of airlines, where lighter luggage was needed. This, along with the industrial revolution, led to an explosion of leather goods to cover all the new needs. Business bags and briefcases, writing cases, leather wallets, leather bags, and so on. Also, cases were necessary to protect new gadgets like binoculars, telescopes, cameras, etc. The production of leather goods had already become a thriving industry.

Today, many of these items are made of plastic, as leather remains a more expensive and exclusive product. However, just like in the early days of history, many consumers still prefer leather for their wallets, bags, and other accessories due to its greater durability and superior quality.

At Monpiel, we work with dedication and passion to bring our customers handcrafted leather products not only of the highest quality and careful design but also at unbeatable prices.

Are you familiar with our line of Slim handcrafted leather wallets? Discover them here and choose your favorite color.